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For whom is this “victory?”

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  • ummyakoub
    For whom is this victory? Message from Voices In The Wilderness There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people. --Howard
    Message 1 of 1 , May 5, 2003
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      For whom is this "victory?"
      Message from Voices In The Wilderness

      "There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent
      people." --Howard Zinn

      Dear Friends,

      Over the past seven years, Voices in the Wilderness has been a
      nonviolent campaign to end the economic sanctions against the people
      ofIraq. Our focus has never been on political interests or the
      balance of power in international politics. Our concern has always
      been for the needs and interests of ordinary Iraqis, many of whom we
      have come to know.

      From our presence in Iraq, we have seen no evidence that the lives of
      ordinary Iraqis are considered in U.S. policy decisions. When
      sanctions were deemed expedient to fulfill U.S. foreign policy goals,
      they were touted by U.S. officials as indispensable. Now U.S.
      administration officials have called for the lifting of economic
      sanctions. U.S. corporations see a gold mine in Iraq, and the
      removal of sanctions will give this administration and its corporate
      entities free access to Iraq's potential wealth. Iraq 's culture,
      economy, and resources belong to the Iraqis, not to any U.S.
      administration or foreign power.

      We have seen, however, that le gitimate third parties have the
      expertise and credibility to serve humanitarian needs. NGO's such as
      UNICEF, WHO and UNDP have a history of responding to such. We hope
      that the U.N. General Assembly, in which no country has veto power,
      will assert its le gitimacy and act as a concerned third party to
      encourage the lifting of sanctions and emphasize that all countries
      should respect and abide by the UN charter.

      It would be in the best interests of the suffering families of Iraq
      to lift the economic sanctions now so that those who have legitimate
      claim to Iraq's finances and resources can use them, free of the
      paralysis of international power struggles, to restore Iraq's
      civilian infrastructure as quickly as possible. It is important for
      the lives of families in Iraq that true security and stability emerge
      from the present chaos.

      It will not serve the tremendous human need in Iraq for the U.S.
      military to immediately withdraw without a legitimate international
      presence to take its place; from what we've witnessed, this would
      create a power vacuum that could precipitate the implosion of Iraq's
      civil society. The U.S. military should be pulled back from its role
      as a foreign occupation power into a protective role sufficient to
      allow for Iraq's social and political concerns to be dictated by
      Iraqi parties.

      The shouts of "victory" by U.S. government officials and media
      personalities have nearly eclipsed this complex reality. The future
      looks less certain from the streets of Iraq than it does from
      mainstream newspapers and television in the United States . The last
      38 days may have ended in a "victory" for the White House and the
      Pentagon, but not for countless Iraqis subject to the forces of power
      politics beyond their control.

      But how do we define "victory?" The end of a regime? The occupation
      of a foreign land against the will of its people? The capture of
      Iraq's oil reserves? The more than 10,000 Gulf War veterans who
      survived the 1991 war but died upon their return? The hundreds of
      thousands of veterans exposed to depleted uranium and other hazardous
      contaminants, returning home to rapidly shrinking veteran's health
      benefits? The hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children killed by
      economic sanctions? The masses of Iraqi civilians living and dying
      with this "victory?" A New American Century of rule by force?

      For whom is this "victory?"


      Kathy Kelly

      Ceylon Mooney

      Bitta Mustofi

      Amy Mooney

      Angela Garcia

      John Farrell

      Laurie Hasbrook

      Danny Muller

      Karl Meyer

      Bert Sacks

      Simon Harak, S.J.

      on behalf of Voices in the Wilderness

      visit our websites

      www.iraqpeaceteam.org www.vitw.org www.electroniciraq.net



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